Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great was the king of Macedonia, conqueror of the Persian Empire, and one of the greatest military geniuses of all times.
Even at an early age, Alexander had the promise to become a great leader. Through all his victories and conquests, he has become a great hero and has had a large impact on history. That is why I chose he book Alexander the Great, by J.R.
Hamilton for my review. Hamilton does a very good job with the story of Alexander the Great.
The book begins by talking about the Macedonian homeland and the make up of the people, their culture. Alexander was born in 356 BC in Pella, the ancient capital of Macedonia he was the son of Philip II, king of Macedonia, and of Olympias, a princess of Epirus.
After discussing his parents and their relationship, Hamilton talks about how Aristotle was Alexander’s tutor from age 13 to 16 and stimulated his interest in science, medicine, and philosophy. The book then talks about how well prepared Alexander was to take over the throne. Then, in the summer of 336 BC Philip was assassinated, and Alexander took over the Macedonian throne.Hamilton does a very good and descriptive job of how Alexander soon showed his power when the large city of Thebes revolted in 335.
Alexander stormed the city with mighty force and took 30,000 people as slaves. An important point the book discussesnext is when Alexander begins his attempt to conqueor Persia. Alexander believed he could never be the dominant force in his area as long as the Persian ruler Darius was still alive. After being defeated the first time Alexander tried again in 332 and finally took Persia.
Darius survived and fled to the mountains, but was killed by one of his own. With Darius dead, Alexander was crowned King of Persia and became known as the king of all Asia.
After Alexander’s taking over of Persia, Hamilton begins talking about Alexanders next conquests. First, Babylon surrendered after Gaugamela, and the city of Susa with its enormous treasures was soon conquered.
Then, in midwinter, Alexander forced his way to Persepolis, the Persian capital. After plundering the royal treasuries and taking anything worthwhile, he burned the city during a drunken binge and thus completed the destruction of the ancient Persian Empire. This demonstrated how ruthless and cruel of a person he could be. Another thing that showed this is when was on a drinking binge and in a fury he killed his own friend.
Hamilton now talks about how far and long it took Alexander to get to where he was. Alezxander’s domain now extended along and beyond the southern shores of the Caspian Sea, including modern Afghanistan and Baluchistan, and northward into Bactria and Sogdiana, the modern Western Turkistan, also known as Central Asia. It had taken Alexander only three years, from the spring of 330 BC to the spring of 327 BC, to take over such a large area. Hamilton then talks about how Alexander still wished to take over the complete Persian empire, so he crossed the Indus River in 326 BC.
There he invaded the Punjab as far as the river Hyphasis, at this point the Macedonians rebelled and refused to go farther. He then constructed a fleet and passed down the Indus, reaching its mouth in September 325 BC. The fleet then sailed to the Persian Gulf. With his army, he returned overland across the desert to Media.
Shortages of food and water caused severe losses and hardship among his troops.
The book also talks about how Alexander would name cities as he went along after himself. Alexander then spent about a year organizing his dominions and completing a survey of the Persian Gulf in preparation for further conquests. He arrived in Babylon in the spring of 323 BC.
In June he contracted a fever and died. He left his empire, in his own words, to the strongest; this uncertain testament resulted in huge conflicts for half a century. Hamilton believes that this could have possible been Alexander’s greatest mistake, because his empire then falls apart. Though all of his conquest Hamilton talks about how well, if